Frequently Asked Questions…

Quick Answers to the Questions Most People Ask About Money Coaching…

Q: How exactly does your coaching process work?

A: The answer to this question depends on whether you are asking about the mechanical aspects of coaching like scheduling and structure, or if you are more interested in knowing how the underlying coaching process works. Let’s take each of these one at a time…

If your question was intended to understand the underlying coaching process then a complete answer is already provided in How Financial Coaching Works and What is Financial Coaching.

If you wanted to know about scheduling and structure then your answer is as follows…

  • You begin with a free test-drive so that we can get to know each other and see if the fit is right. This is not a sales call but a genuine coaching call where you get to experience coaching with me and get your questions answered. Similarly, I get to know you. It usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Together, we are both trying to see if it makes sense to proceed or not (click here for a free checklist of things to consider during your test drive).
  • Assuming the test-drive goes well and everyone wants to move forward, the next step is an intake session lasting roughly 2 hours. This is primarily a “housekeeping” call where we establish our agreements and build the foundation on which the rest of the coaching relationship stands. At the end of this call there will be no confusion about how coaching works and what you should expect. In addition, we will also do some early coaching and create the first homework assignments to establish forward momentum. The goal is to be able to hit the ground running with the first regular coaching call.
  • The first 1-3 months (depending on individual client needs) of coaching is used to establish your financial foundation and design your personalized wealth plan. This typically involves 3 coaching calls per month until you are clearly into action and executing your wealth plan with forward momentum.
  • Once momentum is established call frequency gets reduced to 2 calls per month because it saves you money and is a more appropriate frequency when the agenda shifts from planning to accountability and implementation. During these calls you will “correct and adjust” your plan as new learning occurs during implementation. The reduced call frequency provides the accountability and support you need to stay focused and the continuing education you need to produce breakthrough results.
  • Coaching continues open-ended for as long as you desire. Some clients continue coaching for years because they get more value than they pay for while other clients finish after just a few months when specific goals are achieved.

“I wanted to share the good news with you. We are sending off a check tomorrow that will put to rest the last of our credit card debt. It is a surreal feeling, but a moment we’ve been looking forward to for two years now. We couldn’t have done it without your help – we owe you many thanks. And since you walked through so much of it with us, we wanted you to be the first to know. Thanks again.”– Name Withheld By Request, Oregon

Coaching calls are designed to be 45 minutes long but can last up to one hour. I provide an online, automated scheduler where clients can conveniently make or change appointments 24 hours a day and up to two months in advance. Clients are responsible for managing their own appointments. I also provide an automated billing and payments system where coaching fees are automatically drawn from your account on the first of each month so you don’t have the paperwork hassle of opening mail and writing additional checks. In between calls additional support is provided by email, brief telephone calls, fax, voice mail, and whatever seems appropriate as long as my time is respected.

Q: What happens during a coaching session?

A: Coaching sessions focus on the most important issues affecting your progress toward achieving the goals in your wealth plan. Each call begins with a homework review to provide accountability and continuity between calls. We then launch into the primary topic discussion for the call during which additional homework is usually assigned that will maintain the forward momentum between calls.

The objective during each call is to determine the most important action steps you can take during the following weeks so that you move consistently toward your goals. In addition we will problem solve and attempt to overcome any personal obstacles that are holding you back from greater success. The main objective is to set you up for a winning week of incremental progress toward your financial goals that persistently accumulates week after week into significant results over time. Consistent growth and performance is the key.

Financial coaching also includes strategy development, brainstorming and mentoring, educational overviews on new topics, identifying blind spots and determining solutions to problems. These are just a few of the many tools and discussion points that may be applied during financial coaching calls. Click here to learn more about what to expect from financial coaching.

“In just 12 months of coaching we accomplished the goals we set out to achieve and got more than we expected. We expected you to teach us how to take our real estate investing to the next level – which you did. You helped us save tens of thousands of dollars by avoiding many mistakes and getting us to question our thinking and approach deals in different ways. You gave us tons of investment strategy tips, and kept us focused until we got the right deal. We feel emotionally grounded; we know what we are doing and why; we know how to control risk; how to save thousands through skilled negotiating; and we have a complete action plan for years of future growth. Another benefit was how the regularly scheduled coaching calls kept us accountable, moving forward, and there is no way we would have accomplished all this without your coaching. I’m so amazed at what has happened to us in just one short year. Thank you.”– Jeni and Eric Kurowski; Owners, CCR Storage; Willis, TX

Q: Why do people hire a financial coach?

A: The short answer is you hire a financial coach because you want improved financial results. Either you face a problem that lacks a clear solution or you realize you aren’t going to achieve your financial goals if something doesn’t change. You want support and expert insight into the most effective way to achieve your financial goals… that is why you hire a financial coach.

Stated another way, one definition of insanity is to keep doing what you are doing and expect a different result. Financial coaching helps you produce a different financial result through the education, support, and accountability of the coaching relationship. You will design your personal plan for wealth based on proven principles and your unique skills, interests and resources. You will then take action on that plan and overcome your personal obstacles to success – all within the safety and support of the coaching relationship.

In fact, there are so many reasons to hire a financial coach that I had to write two articles to contain them all: 15 Reasons To Hire A Financial Coach and 21 Key Benefits Of Financial Coaching. These two articles should provide a complete answer to your question.

Q: If you’re so rich then why do you still work as a financial coach?

A: The short answer is financial literacy is my mission and passion in life. The financial knowledge I’ve developed has made a huge difference for me and my family, and my ego is just big enough to believe I have a unique contribution to make to this field. That is why I give away so many free resources and free educational articles that other web sites charge for. I want to get the message out, spread the word, and make a difference.

The long answer is I’m expressing my values in the form of FinancialMentor.Com because this business provides a healthy balance between:

  • Meaningful work that challenges my creativity.
  • Adequate leisure and flexible schedule so that I can enjoy the good things in life.
  • Contribution to a community so that I can give back to others.

A common myth about financial freedom is that you should spend the rest of your life on the pro-leisure circuit playing endless rounds of golf and lounging on tropical beaches with umbrella drinks. That is the implied assumption hiding behind this question. I’m living proof (and so are most retirees) that happiness and fulfillment is more complex than that.

True happiness comes from following your passion so I choose to work 9 months per year building this financial education business because I’m passionate about the subject. It’s fun and helps me grow personally. This business also offers the flexibility I need so that I can still vacation 3 months per year (mostly when the kids are out of school) because that is the right life balance for my tastes. In short, it gives me the leisure and flexibility I want, and the contribution and growth I need. These are all essential elements to a balanced, fulfilling life – regardless of how much money you have (or don’t have).

Those are the two reason why I coach.

Q: What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

A: For a complete answer see The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring. There are important distinctions that every consumer should understand so it is a worthwhile read.

Q: Why would I want a financial coach?

A: The short answer is to improve your financial intelligence and increase your financial success. The long answer is contained in 15 Reasons To Hire A Financial Coach.

In a nutshell, the proper and effective use of money is one of the most important skills a person can develop. It can make the difference between living a good life or living a life of constant struggle. Yet most of us received little or no training in this skill. A talent for money management is a learned skill that can be taught, and regardless of the level you are currently at Financial Mentor can take you to the next level. A good financial coaching relationship should put more money in your pocket than it takes out. That’s why you would want a financial coach… it’s the profitable thing to do.

“I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know your financial coaching session on negotiating financing for my home was one of the best investments I ever made. I followed your process step by step and here are the results: no lock in fee, appraisal fee, credit report fee, doc prep fee and discounted other fees. Total savings on fees alone was $2,950 – not to mention a lower interest rate. It took me just three hours of research and phone calls. The investment I have made in your services has sure paid off, and thanks again for the advice.”– Jerry Fraize; President, Select Transaction Services, Inc.; Coral Springs, FL

Q: How much does financial coaching cost?

A: My current fee schedule for one-on-one financial coaching is located here. My current fee schedule for group financial coaching is here.

Many people are concerned that they can’t afford coaching; however, what my clients have learned is financial coaching can put more money in your pocket than it takes out making it revenue producing. This is not just a sales line – it happens more often than not. The reason is because one bad deal avoided or one changed financial situation can pay for years of coaching fees with all the other education thrown in for free. Read my testimonials here and you will see it is a relatively frequent occurrence that could happen to you as well.

Q: Will I get-rich-quick?

A: Financial coaching provides a planned, methodical, scientific approach to wealth building based on proven principles that work. It is not some “get-rich-quick” marketing scam: it is serious financial education and support for people serious about achieving financial freedom and willing to do the work necessary.

I can’t promise specific results because everyone’s personal situation is different. However, you can realistically expect to be firmly on a path toward financial independence with a well-formulated plan and taking clear action steps within 3-6 months. How long it takes you to reach the end-goal is a function of your specific plan and your diligence in working that plan.

Q: Do you require any long-term contractual commitments or large, up-front fees?

A: No. Individual coaching is paid on a month-to-month basis so that you only purchase another month of services if you are happy with what you already bought and want to continue. You are never under any contractual or financial obligation to continue. It is the only fair way to do business.

>I staunchly disagree with the practices of competing coaching companies that charge multiple months in advance or lock you into long-term contracts. (See the Beware of The Dream Merchants for more information on this subject.)

With that said, we encourage all new clients to begin with a 90 day “mental” commitment to give the process a fair chance. Numerous studies show new learning takes a minimum of 90 days reinforcement to become habit. Money coaching provides a supportive and educational environment to adopt new and more constructive money habits; however, it takes at least 90 days to honestly assess whether or not you are getting the results you wanted.

But you are never under any obligation to continue. If your investment in money coaching fails to pay dividends then just quit at any time and there is no penalty or fee to pay. Again, it is the only fair way to do business.

“I only coached with Todd for a few months four years ago and I am still benefitting from the experience as I complete my fourth positive cash flow real estate deal. I am well on my way to achieving my financial goals because of the focus and clarity that resulted from those coaching sessions years ago.”– Sally Trussell, EdD.; Independent Investor; Littleton, MA

Q: How long do clients usually work with you?

A: There is no “usual” amount of time. I have several long-term clients, who have been with me 5 years or more, and I have clients who begin with very specific objectives and we happily part ways after 6 months to 1 year when the goal is completed. There is no standard or average amount of time because it totally depends on the client’s needs.< Q: I already have a financial adviser. Why would I want a financial coach?
A: For a detailed answer see Financial Advice vs. Financial Coaching – Which Is Best For You. In a nutshell, they are completely different services that serve completely different functions. Financial advice manages the wealth you already built: financial coaching helps you build wealth in the first place. Many clients use my financial coaching services as an affordable alternative to financial advice, and others find my coaching services complement the services provided by their financial adviser or investment manager. In short, financial advice and financial coaching are complementary because they are so different – they are not mutually exclusive.

Q: Are you a stock broker, financial adviser, CPA, RIA, or licensed attorney?

A: No, no, no, and no. I hold no professional designations or licenses and you are not protected by the codes of conduct or regulatory rules surrounding any of these professions. There is no central licensing body for coaching and there is no regulatory body that governs coaching. If you would like to learn more about my professional and personal background you can read my bio here.

Q: Do you sell any investment products or services?

A: No. The only thing I sell is education. In fact, I specifically built this business to serve the growing financial education needs of independent investors and business owners who use discount brokerage and would like a separate educational service. They realize it is a conflict of interest to provide financial advice while simultaneously selling financial/investment products (life insurance, stocks, bonds, mutual funds) so they purchase each service separately. Did you ever wonder why the financial plan produced by your adviser/broker only includes investment products he can sell you? It is not a coincidence. Smart consumers want unbiased sources for their financial education and don’t want to mix financial advice with investment product sales. It is a growing trend whose time has finally come.

“Just wanted to thank you for your advice about (name withheld for legal reasons). I recently cashed $220K out of his deals making over 20%. The money was over a month late but arrived. A real estate lawyer thought it was the worst contract he had ever seen; from the first sentence he knew it was bogus. Working with you really helped even though in hindsight it was so apparent it was a scam. I got an education and learned to do my due diligence and let the numbers be the basis for my decision.”– Name Withheld For Legal Reasons. This scam was uncovered and shut down by the S.E.C. afterwards. Investors who did not get out early lost everything.

Q: Do I need to already be rich or successful to work with you?
A: No, that is a common misconception.

My ebooks and group coaching courses are designed for a lower price point so they can serve anyone from entry level to sophisticated consumers. My one-on-one financial coaching is a premium service that typically appeals to business owners, independent professionals (attorneys, doctors, etc.), and independent investors who already have some success but aren’t gazillionaires. The key criterion is they typically have some capital at risk through their business and investments so that it makes good business sense to hire a financial coach and improve results. One mistake avoided or one improved decision can pay for years of coaching.

I provide an entire article explaining who my ideal client is for one-one financial coaching here so that you can see if you fit the profile.

Q: How do I know if I will make a good client for your services?

A: After many years of experience there is no vagary about who will get more benefits than costs from financial coaching. It is not for everyone. Here is a entire article explaining exactly what characteristics a successful coaching client will have. Do you fit the profile?

Q: Should I get coached alone or can I include my spouse?

A: I don’t charge extra to coach couples so that choice is entirely up to you. The answer is, “Whatever serves your needs best.” The key point is to make sure the primary decision-maker is included. If you make most of the financial decisions on your own and it is difficult to coordinate phone appointments with your spouse then coach with me on your own. If you jointly share in most decisions or feel it is important to share the coaching experience then both partners should attend the calls. Do whatever works for you. My primary concern is helping you produce results – not how many people attend the calls.

“Working with Todd as a financial coach had an immediate payoff. In the very first session the advice he provided saved us enough money to pay for his services for an entire year. We are very grateful to have realized such an immediate payoff for our investment with Todd.”– Gordon Darling, Entrepreneur; Rockport, ME

Q: I don’t live in the United States. Do you work with people in other countries?
A: Yes. As long as your country is a Common Law based system my strategies are not so culturally specific that they can’t be adapted. Most of the differences are details in terminology that can be worked through. My foreign clients use Skype instead of the telephone to control communication costs and politely express all times in Pacific Standard Time when making appointments to minimize confusion. Other than that, coaching across borders raises few issues.

Q: How do I get started coaching with you?
A: Check for availability and schedule your free test drive here.

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